Why is Direct Traffic Increasing and How to Fix
If you are running an online business for some time now, gathering a deep insight into your business data plays a crucial role. Google Analytics will help you do this. For example, if you have correct data on how a customer interacts with your website, this can help give your marketing strategies a cutting edge. But what if the Google Analytics data that you get does not give you factual reports?
This brings me to another vital question, have you ever noticed a sharp increase in your Direct Traffic in Google Analytics? If you notice that your direct traffic increase is below 20%, then perhaps things are fine, but if you see that it has been increasing and reaches, say, 50% then, perhaps there is a problem. Every possibility that Google Analytics is counting some other traffic that cannot be recognized as direct traffic.
Hence, any campaigning strategies that you build for the growth of your business will be based on erroneous facts, so your efforts will not see the expected results. So, you must fix this increased direct traffic as soon as possible. Otherwise, all your Google Analytics report may one day end up showing only direct traffic, and you will be left with no referral data to help you in building your future marketing strategies.
You must understand the reasons behind this increase in Direct Traffic and then look into effective solutions to manage it accurately. So let us begin with understanding first, what exactly is Direct Traffic?
What is “Direct” Traffic, and how to increase direct traffic?
Direct Traffic essentially refers to that Traffic attributed to the ‘Direct’ channel in Google Analytics. It is assumed to arrive at your site by entering your website URL by the user into the browser or through browser bookmarks.
So, this means direct Traffic seems to have a direct relationship with the recognition of your brand. But, then, how to increase direct Traffic? Well, to achieve that, you will have to take concrete steps to garner visibility for your organization.
To build recognition for your brand, you can run marketing campaigns across various online channels, use content marketing, and run blogs, social media, and youtube videos. You can also use offline marketing like billboard advertising, TV and newspaper marketing, etc. Making a small change and having a short URL for your easily memorable website can bring in more direct traffic. Additionally, make strategies to increase your return visitors, like frequently updating your home page or changing your website content, can help you earn recognition and Direct Traffic.
What is Direct Traffic, and How to Minimise it?
Direct traffic, as it is assumed to be, discussed above, does not truly reflect in Google Analytics. Google Analytics counts all the other traffic sources like those generated from a secured HTTPS to unsecured HTTP, from ambiguity in tagging marketing campaigns, etc., that does not have any referrer data through the HTTP header, like direct traffic.
And this traffic that does not arrive directly at your website but is accredited as ‘Direct’ in Google Analytics is termed Dark Traffic. Dark traffic can be minimized in Google Analytics by using UTM parameters or ‘Campaign Tracking URLs’ It helps Google Analytics correctly categorize traffic sources under the right channels instead of counting them under direct traffic.
Causes Of Direct Traffic In Google Analytics
Type–in-Traffic is the most obvious cause but not the most significant cause that generates direct traffic in Google Analytics. This is because the user typing generates the Type-In-Traffic traffic in a direct URL into the web browser and hence, does not have any source attached to it.
With the rise in popularity of social media and messenger platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc., users finding websites is more prominent. On the other hand, much fewer numbers are typing indirect URLs for finding websites. So, there have to be some other causes generating direct traffic in Google Analytics, which we shall explore further.
Website Still Working On Unsecure HTTP Protocol
Since the secured HTTPS has become standard protocol for major websites, web browsers, and search engines, you will be deprived of the crucial referral data if you are still using unsecured HTTP web protocol for your website.
This results from the fact that HTTPS (HTTP + SSL = HTTPS) websites by default don’t convey referrer data to HTTP websites, resulting in Google Analytics counting it as direct traffic.
And you are already aware of the importance of referral data in analyzing your different traffic data sources and successfully designing marketing strategies for the company’s growth. So, you must secure your website with SSL Certificate and shift your website protocol to secure HTTPS. This will also ensure encryption of the in-transit data between the web browser and the client-server.
(Source: www.portalcreative.uk )
You can purchase the same from many reputed SSL Certificate providers. In addition, you can choose from an array of choices available, catering to different security needs and budgets. Among them, the Multi-Domain Wildcard SSL certificate is very popular and offers true value for money. It protects multiple domains and subdomains with a single certificate.
You must keep in mind the two most crucial points when shifting to HTTPS protocol, firstly assure that your SSL Certificate supports Google’s speed protocol SPDY, mobile, your images, and that your CDN supports SSL.
Otherwise, your advertisers using HTTP might believe that your website is losing popularity and, hence, is not a good advertising place. This happens because they would not be getting any referrer data from your HTTPS website as Google Analytics will refer to the traffic from your website as direct traffic.
Setting Improper Redirects
Use Of Shortened URLs
Use of shortened URLs created using URL shortener services, use a redirect process, and counted as direct traffic in Google Analytics. This can be fixed by tagging the destination URL with UTM parameters.
Missing Google Analytics Tracking Code
(Source: www.bounteous.com )
Missing Google Analytics Tracking Code, although it doesn’t form a major share for direct traffic in Google Analytics as template code installation is very popular. But still, some incidents of missing Google Analytics tracking code do happen, especially when you create a new page of your website and do not place Google Analytics code on it. But, again, this gives rise to direct traffic.
Ambiguity In Tagging Of the URLs Of Marketing Campaigns
Sometimes, some URLs of the marketing campaigns are tagged, and some are not tagged. For example, when the referrer is dropped due to technical reasons, Google Analytics registers direct traffic. If the URLs are tagged with UTM or campaign tracking parameters, it eliminates the issue of dropped referrers. Similarly, incorrect tagging of URLs of the marketing campaigns with UTM parameters may also result in referrer data drop. That traffic also ends up as direct traffic in Google Analytics.
In conclusion, we can say that all of us agree that Direct traffic constantly increasing and gaining very high numbers in Google Analytics should surely be a cause of concern for online businesses. But, working upon the above-discussed fixes, you can correctly manage Google Analytics direct traffic and have proper insights into your sales strategies to grow your business.